Varied duties can make this an exciting career choice
If you’re thinking about entering a professional medical assistant training program, give yourself a pat on the back for having great timing.
Changes to healthcare laws may mean that physicians and nurse practitioners have a greater for need qualified professionals to help them.
There are several additional factors driving the growing need for qualified medical assistants, including:
- An aging population
- Increase in rates of chronic disease
- Shortage of physicians (attributed to rising insurance costs)
In fact, it’s estimated that employment for medical assistants could increase by 29% from 2012 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What you need to know
If you’re not already in a medical assistant training program, you might wonder what’s involved.
Medical assistants may work in a variety of clinical settings, including hospitals, doctors’ offices and outpatient settings.
There are several different types of medical assistants, and the job tasks associated with each may vary widely.
Clerical medical assistants are often responsible for helping a medical office run efficiently. Job duties usually include working at the front desk, scheduling appointments, and assisting doctors with paperwork and electronic records.
Administrative medical assistants may do many of the same tasks as clerical medical assistants, however, their responsibilities also extend to more specialized tasks, such as updating patient records, scheduling medical tests, and handling medical claims and hospital admission processes.
Clinical medical assistants often have more direct interaction with the patient and the doctor. Duties may include speaking with patients to take down medical histories, preparing patients for exams, and providing reassurance about certain procedures. Clinical medical assistants may assist doctors by retrieving laboratory specimens, calling in prescriptions, sterilizing equipment, removing sutures, drawing blood and administering EKGs.
Specialized medical assistants are clinical medical assistants that have trained to one in one particular field, such as ophthalmology or pediatrics.
How do I become a professional medical assistant?
Most medical assistant programs combine classroom learning and hands-on, real-life experience. Students will be trained in various topics related to patient care and medical office procedures.
One way to get an insight into the profession – and gain valuable experience – is to volunteer in a hospital or similar setting, or schedule a tour of a school that offers medical assistant training. That way, you can have a better idea of whether this career choice is right for you.
Want to know more? Request more information about Salter’s professional medical assistant training programs.